Manhattan Real Estate in history/today: The Ansonia

By
Real Estate Agent with The Corcoran Group

The Ansonia - Iphone photo - Mitchell Hall

The Ansonia - Upper West Side - 2109 Broadway 

 

When The Ansonia opened in 1904 it was called:

"the most technologically advanced apartment house in the world"

Loaded with towers, mansard roofs, ornate balconies, balustrades, and bay windows, the Ansonia is easily Broadway's most opulent structure. When it opened in 1904, this extraordinary, eighteen story Beaux Arts building provided tenants with such luxuries as electric stoves, hot and cold filtered water, freezers, a pneumatic -tube system to deliver messages, and even an early form of central air conditioning.

The building also had incredibly thick walls installed to protect against fire, which meant Ansonia suites were among the most soundproof in the city. This is the reason many famous musicians took up residence in the building. The building has a plaza in the lobby with two entrances on west 73rd and west 74th streets. A swimming pool and garage are in the basement. The building is located on a curve in Broadway and is visible from up and down The Boulevard.

In addition to its famous residents, the Ansonia has been in many movies. In The Sunshine Boys, it was Walter Matthau's Manhattan apartment. The 1919 Black Sox World series scandal was conceived in front of the Ansonia.

The Ansonia was also the spot where Bette Midler got her big break in show business. She sang danced and clowned at the Continental Baths, a gay spa that once occupied the Ansonia's basement and whose cabaret room was popular in the 1970's. Today, the Continental Baths are history, but the Ansonia is still a vital part of the Upper West Side.

Today the Ansonia is a condominium it has 462 apartments on 18 floors. As of this writing there is one active listing in the Ansonia. A 400 square foot studio for $495,000. Prices for condominiums in the Ansonia range from the $400's for studios to $6 million for a 6 bedroom.

Bette Midler at the Continental Baths with Barry Manilow on piano
in The Ansonia's basement (1970-1972)

 

Manhattan Apartment Buildings in history/ today

 

A Blog Series Courtesy of:

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker, The Corcoran Group

 

©Mitchell Hall

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
399,026
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs
Good post, I tend to enjoy these posts. Keep up the good work.
Sep 15, 2006 03:56 PM #1
Rainmaker
510,246
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC

Thanks, Eric

There are so many of them just in my neighborhood alone. I also enjoy the posts about New Orleans another great city rich in history.

Sep 15, 2006 04:22 PM #2
Rainer
35,731
Sara Lipnitz
SKBK Sotheby's International Realty - Birmingham, MI

Mitchell,

That building is just beautiful.  I love that your city is so full of that type of history.  A 100 year old building would more likely than not be knocked down here.  I love that the people of NYC care for the historical properties like this one. 

Sep 16, 2006 11:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
510,246
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC

Sara,

So many of our buildings are Landmarked. Once they receive Landmark status it is almost impossible for them to be knocked down.

We also have historical districts in many neighborhoods. If you own a Townhouse in a historic district you can renovate all you want inside but you have to keep the facade the same. External renovations have to be approved by the community. In fact if you want to paint the outside you have to use colors that they used 100 years ago.

Sep 16, 2006 12:25 PM #4
Rainmaker
510,246
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
video added 7/08/07
Jul 08, 2007 08:37 AM #5
Rainer
111,189
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
That show, on cable, If Walls Could Talk; I have a feeling there would be good wall stories in this building. It's beautiful. The video is a nice touch, Bette is NYC personified! So the condos still offer extra soundproofing, I would have it at the top of my NYC search list. Cool and thanks for the history lesson!
Jul 08, 2007 10:25 AM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous
Charles
That 400 sq ft studio was purchased by me. haha
Jul 30, 2007 03:38 PM #7
Rainmaker
510,246
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC

Hi Charles, It was nice speaking with you today. Congratulations on your great investment.

Jul 30, 2007 06:42 PM #8
Rainer
18,634
Don Diltz
Coldwell Banker - Menlo Park, CA
DRE:01204965

Hi Mitchel,

Lovely.  A pleasure to read and learn a little.  Thanks.

 I'm on San Francisco's Peninsula...about midway down...  Dropy by at my blog site if you like.  www.MidPenRE.com

Thanks,

Don

Aug 15, 2007 09:55 PM #9
Anonymous
Anonymous
marc

Hi everybody!

Congratulations, Charles. I live in Paris but I'd love a place in the Ansonia. In fact I grew up in the big buildings around the corner (somewhat) on 66th and West End. Used to play in the vacant lots where Trump built his towers. I always thought the Ansonia was like the castles in fairy tales. Maybe I'll be lucky... seems the prices have softened...

Mar 26, 2008 03:48 PM #10
Rainmaker
510,246
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC

Bonjour Marc,

Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you grew up in Lincoln Towers. The Trump buildings blocked some of the river views from Lincoln Towers but they are still very popular apartments. The Ansonia is currently going through a major restoration of the facade. It is going to look gorgeous when it's finished.

Mar 27, 2008 06:30 AM #11
Anonymous
Anonymous
marc

Hi Mitchell,

Not exactly the Lincoln Towers, but the twenty-story red brick building- 303 M66th - between WE Avenue and the new Trump buildings, opposite what we called the Alcoa buildings back then.

Congratulations for the concept of your blog - it's something that is sadly lacking in Paris, where there could also be focus on historical buildings and the celebrities who lived in them.

I'll definitely have a look at the renovtion work at the Ansonia when I'm around in May;

Best,

Marc

Apr 02, 2008 05:44 PM #12
Rainmaker
140,226
Kimo Stowell
JDS Consulting: Decor Design and Merchandising - Honolulu, HI
Real Estate Merchandiser

Aloha Mitchell,

Thanks for the Post I love the musical sound track. Can you play the sound track to Arthur? hehehe

Peace,

Apr 02, 2008 07:03 PM #13
Rainmaker
510,246
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC

Hi Marc. I know those building. Thanks for stopping by and the compliment

Kimo, Thanks for stopping by I just added the music I was afraid it might annoy people.  You can click to play any song or click it off.

Apr 02, 2008 07:44 PM #14
Rainmaker
79,821
David Laven
Keller Williams Realty Boston Metro - Boston, MA

Interesting fact about the landmark

Jul 24, 2009 10:26 PM #15
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
510,246

Mitchell J Hall

Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
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